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Moreland Commission And Corrupt Lawmakers

ALBANY -- The Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption held its second public hearing at Empire State Plaza Tuesday. Speakers had the opportunity to discuss campaign finance reform, outside income for elected officials and political party housekeeping accounts.

In a typical campaign year there's about $50,000 spent on golf, $200,000 on new cars, $70,000 on flowers and thousands on cigars. Since 2004 millions have been spent [by officials] hiring lawyers to defend themselves from criminal charges, said Bill Mahoney with NYPIRG. There will always be politicians who take bribes, but the fact that we see so many of them in the state with the highest contribution limit of any state that imposes them is hardly coincidental.

Governor Cuomo established the commission in an attempt to curb corruption. Its first task will be providing a preliminary report on policy making by Dec. 1.

I dont want to write a report that makes people happy, where people slap me on the back and say great job and it has zero chance of ever seeing the light of day and people just forget about it, said co-chair William Fitzpatrick, who also works as Onondaga Countys District Attorney.

Many commissioners also work as district attorneys in their home counties and are tasked with investigating wrong-doings. Some legislators have rebuffed requests by the commission for campaign donation information and client lists.

The commission is taking proper steps to address it, said Albany County District Attorney and Commissioner David Soares.I have every confidence in the ongoing dialogue and process.

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